Thursday, January 5, 2012

Haiti and Guyana

A recent article by the commondreams organisation: highlights the difficulty of trying to help a country deeply divided into tribal fractions, no coherent infrastructure or plan and a large mass of the population living a meagre subsistence existence largely uneducated.
As highlighted in Britain some time ago, large portions of Donated money was not reaching the distressed people to whom the appeals had highlighted. Thankfully bona fide Charities such as Oxfam, Age Concern and many others have taken the criticisms on board and modified their organisations so that the donating Public are told how much of their donations get to the Actual people, trusting them to be accurate and honest!
While understanding the need for a co-ordinated effort in order to be effective - two years without any tangible achievement is stretching credulity a bit. The fact that the political situation is unstable and the big neighbour to the North seems hell-bent on interfering in local matters means that the worse seem to have risen to the top - those who are most aggressive and most probably just concerned with preserving their Status Quo and oblivious to the obvious suffering of the people.
The question is.. and how now to start doing something positive on a large scale?
Global Fund came up to the same problem trying to have Public Participation but in Guyana, at least, stymied by the Government.
I compared Guyana's attempt at an Economic Recovery Program, apparently rated by the foreigners as being a good one but see the despair of the average Joe, with a Recovery Program to be designed by the Haitians and was chastised  for daring to suggest that local capacity was questionable. So when Guyana's former President - Jagan formulated A National Development Strategy with countrywide participation back in 1996 he was actually on the right track - shame his 'legacy' seemed to have abandoned those principles.

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